RENO, Nev. — Freshman Ryan Mathews ran for 171 yards and three touchdowns, Clifton Smith scored on a 67-yard punt return and A.J. Jefferson returned a blocked field goal 40 yards for another score Saturday as Fresno State beat Nevada 49-41 in Reno, Nev.
Mathews scored on runs of 3, 54 and 67 yards, the longest coming on the second half's first play from scrimmage. That opened up a 35-13 lead for the Bulldogs (3-2, 2-0 in the Western Athletic Conference), who totaled 307 yards rushing, including Lonyae Miller's 72-yard TD run to seal the victory with 12:35 left in the game.
Nevada freshman quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who replaced the injured starter Nick Graziano in the second quarter, completed 23-of-36 passes for 384 yards and four touchdowns for the Wolf Pack (2-3, 0-1 WAC). But two of the touchdowns came after the game had been decided — a 36-yarder to Luke Lippincott with 28 seconds left and a 34-yarder to Adam Bisop with 3 seconds on the clock.
It marked the first time in his 23-year coaching career that Nevada's Chris Ault lost to Fresno State in Reno, where the Wolf Pack's home record is now 17-4 since Ault returned to the sidelines three years ago.
Nevada pulled to within 35-20 on Kaepernick's 10-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Fragger with 9 minutes left in the third quarter.
But Smith ran 15 yards for his second touchdown of the game on the next series to put the Bulldogs ahead 42-20 with 2:36 remaining in the quarter.
SAN JOSE STATE 28, IDAHO 20: At San Jose, Calif., Adam Tafralis threw a pair of touchdown passes and James T. Callier rushed for two touchdowns as San Jose State won its third straight. Kevin Jurovich caught 10 passes for 161 yards to become the first Spartans receiver with back-to-back games of 100 receiving yards or more in five years.
MISSISSIPPI 24, LA. TECH 0: At Oxford, Miss., Seth Adams threw two touchdowns Saturday and the struggling Mississippi defense notched the Rebels' first shutout since 2003. Ole Miss (2-4), which came in allowing 33 points per game, snapped a four-game losing streak while holding the Bulldogs (1-4) to 301 yards of total offense.